California-based Stanford Medicine recently came out with its long-awaited results from the Apple Heart Study, which represents one of the biggest research effort that depends on consumer application to get a good understanding about human health.
In those that returned the ECG patch that could be analyzed (about a quarter of them), 84% of their subsequent notifications were confirmed to be atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heart rhythm, is a leading cause of stroke and hospitalization in the United States, but due to its elusive and sporadic symptoms, the condition often goes undetected. Among the participants, a quarter finished the protocol by wearing a patch to monitor heart's rhythm. The research was created in part to assess the effectiveness of Apple Watch in spotting signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib).
The study results were presented earlier this year at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo.
Stanford Medicine today published results from the Apple Heart Study that kicked off in 2017, marking the third time data from the study has been shared (via Reuters and CNBC). The researchers note that since atrial fibrillation is an intermittent condition, it's not surprising for it to go undetected in ECG patch monitoring.
People flagged for an irregular pulse were sent an EKG patch to wear.
These findings are important because they indicate that, while the wearable technology itself cannot diagnose users with heart conditions, it can detect irregularities and display those patterns to patients and doctors.
According to Turakhia, the research shows that over 75% of participants alerted of an irregular heartbeat contacted their healthcare providers, suggesting wearable technology can prevent AFib in the general public and serve as another example of the marriage between medicine and technology. For one, the study's completely virtual nature eliminated the need for patients to be physically present and allowed for the implementation of a massive recruitment strategy in a relatively short period of time. "Further research will help people make more informed health decisions".
For more than 2.7 million Americans and millions of other living with deadly Atrial Fibrillation and its rapid pace of growth in the future, this study is surely paving the way for the digital transformation of health and health care. Apple says more than half of participants in the study sought medical advice following their irregular rhythm notification. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.